Bibimbap

비빔밥
Rice mixed with vegetables, meat, an egg, and chili pepper paste

Today’s recipe is bibimbap, a super-popular Korean dish you might have heard about already! It’s made of a bowl of rice, sautéed and seasoned vegetables (namul: 나물), a bit of hot pepper paste (gochujang: 고추장), and usually a bit of seasoned raw beef, too (yukhoe: 육회).

Bibim (비빔) translates as “mixed,” and bap (밥) means “cooked rice,” so bibimbap literally means “mixed rice.” Before eating it you’re supposed to mix everything all together.

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There are many variations on this dish, from simple to elaborate, and this recipe I’m showing you today is for one you could consider “classic” bibimbap. If you ordered bibimbap in a Korean restaurant, you would probably get something like this dish, with regional variations. I’m also going to show you bibimbap prepared and served in a heated stone or earthenware bowl called dolsot-bibimbap (돌솥비빔밥). “Dolsot” means “stone pot” in Korean, and this version is well-known for the way the bowl makes a layer of crispy, crackling rice on the bottom of the bibimbap.

Even though we mix up bibimbap before we eat it, each ingredient needs to be prepared with care and individuality, bringing out their unique flavors, textures and colors so they come together beautifully in the bowl and deliciously in your mouth. The different ingredients aren’t random, they’re chosen because they balance, harmonize, and offset each other.

This recipe isn’t quick and easy, it takes some time to make. But if you’re really in a rush you can make a great bibimbap with the soybean sprouts, spinach, and carrot (or red bell pepper, or both), and gochujang, sesame oil, and an egg— those items are unskippable!

I’m going to share some more bibimbap recipes on my website in the future, and you’ll see how many different variations there are. This version is a little different than the version in my cookbook, because I make a quick and simple soup with the bean sprouts. When I started my YouTube channel, bibimbap was one of the first recipes I made, because it’s such an essential dish in Korean cuisine. So I’m happy to remake the video now in HD with much better editing and instruction. I’ve been building up to this video by remaking videos for the ingredients, too. I remade yukhoe, and sigeumchi-namul, and my yukagaejang video has a lot of detail about preparing the mountain vegetable fernbrake.

So if you’ve been following my videos, you’re now ready to be a bibimbap master! Ready? Let’s start!

Ingredients (serves 4)

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How to prepare dried fernbrake (gosari) for use

If you have presoaked or fresh fernbrake you can use it straight away, but if you have dried fernbrake you’ll need to get it ready to eat. It’s fast if you have a pressure cooker, but if you don’t it will take some time.

With a pressure cooker:

  1. Wash ½ ounce of dried gosari and boil it with 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse in cold water a couple of times.
  3. Drain. It should make 4 ounces.

In a pot on the stove:

  1. In a large saucepan add ½ ounce of dried gosari to 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 30 minutes. Cover and let stand until cool, about 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Rinse the fernbrake a couple of times, drain and put in a bowl. Cover with fresh cold water and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight in a cool place, changing the water 2 or 3 times during the soaking.gosari
  3. Taste the gosari: It should be soft. If it’s tough, boil it again in a fresh pot of water for about 20 minutes and then let it sit, covered, until soft.
  4. Drain. It should make 4 ounces.

Make rice

If you have a usual method for making rice or have a rice cooker, go ahead and make 5 cups of rice like you usually do. But here’s how I do it on a pot on the stove. 2 cups of dried rice makes about 5 cups of cooked rice.

  1. Rinse 2 cups of rice in cold water and scrub the wet rice with your hand. Rinse and drain until the drained water is pretty clear.
  2. Put the rice in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add 2 cups of water, cover, and soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Cook over medium high heat for 7 to 8 minutes until the surface is covered with abundant bubbles that are spluttering noisily and look like they’re about to overflow the pot. Turn the rice over a few times with a spoon and cover the pot again.
  4. Turn the heat to very low and simmer for another 10 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and fluffy. Remove from the heat.
  5. Fluff the rice with a spoon to release excess steam. Let the rice stand, covered, at room temperature to keep it warm.

Prepare and cook the ingredients for bibimbap

I like to get a big platter and then put each vegetable on it as they’re ready. I think it looks really pretty, but you don’t have to do this. When all vegetables are prepared and ready to use, the platter looks pretty delicious!

Soybean sprouts:

  1. Put the soy bean sprouts in a pot and add 4 cups water and 2 or 3 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium high heat. Take out the sprouts with tongs and put them into a bowl, leaving about ½ cup of sprouts in the pot with the water you used to boil them. This is the soup to serve with bibimbap later.bibimbap kongnamul
  2. In a bowl, mix the sprouts by hand with ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Put them on the large platter.

Spinach:

  1. Cut up the blanched spinach a few times and put it in a bowl. Mix by hand with 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Cover and put it next to the soy bean sprouts on the platter.

Other fresh vegetables:

  1. Cut the carrot into matchsticks, put them in a bowl, and mix with a pinch of salt. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until sweating.bibimbap carrot
  2. Cut the red bell pepper into halves, deseed, and slice into strips. Put them in a bowl.
  3. Cut the zucchini into matchsticks and mix with ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Cut the cucumber into halves lengthwise and slice thinly crosswise. Mix with ¼ teaspoon salt.

Beef:

  1. Cut the beef into matchsticks and put them in a bowl.
  2. Mix with 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds with a spoon.bibimbap yukhoe
  3. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Mountain vegetables:

  1. Cut the fernbrake (gosari) a few times into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Put the bellflower roots (doraji) in a large bowl. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons salt. Rub for a minute to wilt slightly and release some of the bitterness. Rinse them in cold water a couple of times and drain. If you find some roots are too thick, split them lengthwise. Set aside.

Let’s cook!

  1. Heat up a pan over medium high heat. Squeeze out excess water from the carrot. Add a few drops of cooking oil to the pan and sauté the carrot for 1 minute. Put it on the platter next to the soy bean sprouts and spinach. Clean the pan with wet paper towel or wash it.
  2. Heat a few drops of cooking oil in the pan and squeeze out the excess water from the cucumber. Sauté with ½ teaspoon minced garlic and a few drops of sesame oil for 30 seconds. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.
  3. Heat up the pan with a few drops of cooking oil. Add the red bell pepper and sprinkle a pinch of salt over top. Sauté for 30 seconds. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.
  4. Heat up the pan and squeeze out excess water from the zucchini. Add a few drops of cooking oil and sauté with 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, a drop of sesame oil for 1 minute until slightly softened. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.
  5. Heat up the pan with a few drops of cooking oil. Add the bellflower roots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium so as not to brown them. Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and a drop of sesame oil. Stir for another minute until a little softened. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.bellflower root (doraji)
  6. Heat up the pan. Add a few drops of cooking oil. Stir the gosari for 2 minutes until a little softened. Add ½  teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sugar, and keep stirring for another minute. Put it on the platter.

bibimbap vegetables

Serve

Here are a couple of ways to serve: bibimbap in a regular, shallow bowl, and dolsot-bibimbap in a stone or earthenware bowl.

In a regular, shallow bowl

  1. Reheat the soybean sprout soup.soup
  2. Divide the cooked rice into 4 portions. Each portion will be a little more than 1 cup of rice.
  3. Put the rice in each of 4 bowls and arrange the vegetables and beef on the rice. Top with the egg yolk and gochujang. If you prefer your eggs and beef cooked, make sunny side up eggs and slightly pan-fry the beef before putting them on the top of rice.
  4. Sprinkle the bibimbap with the sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup to a small bowl and sprinkle some chopped green onion over top.
  6. Serve right away with more hot pepper paste on the side.bibimbap

Dolsot-bibimbap in an earthenware bowl (ttukbaegi) or stone pot (dolsot)

  1. Reheat the soybean sprout soup.
  2. Put a few drops of sesame oil in the bottom of each of 4 earthenware bowls. They should be big enough to hold 4 to 6 cups each.
  3. Divide the rice among the bowls. Arrange the vegetables and beef on the rice. Top each serving with an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon gochujang. If you prefer your eggs and beef cooked, make sunny side up eggs and slightly pan-fry the beef before putting them on the top of rice.
  4. Set each pot on a burner. Heat over medium high heat until you hear a ticking, crackling sound coming from the rice.dolsot-bibimbap
  5. Sprinkle the bibimbap with the sesame seeds, drizzle with sesame oil to taste.
  6. Ladle the soup to a small bowl and sprinkle some chopped green onion over top.
  7. Serve right away with more hot pepper paste on the side.gochujang

Eat

  1. Gently but firmly mix everything together in the bowl with your spoon. Try not to crush the more delicate ingredients.bibimbap mixing
  2. Eat with your spoon.

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373 Comments:

  1. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09
    Posted March 16th, 2009 at 3:31 pm | # |

    This recipy is soooo good! I cannot find kosari anywhere here, but without it it is very very tasty. Nasi goreng has some serious competition now!

  2. Zarina
    Posted March 10th, 2009 at 5:52 pm | # |

    It looks so GOOD! I love bimbimbap! But there are no halal Korean food place where I am staying now. When I was in Singapore there was. Now I can make my own in my house! Thank you!

    Can you tell me how you make the mushroom fritters?

  3. Maangchi joined 7/08
    Posted February 27th, 2009 at 9:26 am | # |

    Melanie,
    Wonderful! Yeah, certain food reminds us of good memories of the past.

  4. Melanie
    Posted February 27th, 2009 at 9:02 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I’ve finally registered into your website after watching your videos in youtube. It’s better here because everything is in your website. Anyway I just want to tell you that I cooked bibimbap this week and my husband loved it. He says that it reminds him of korea when he was stationed there before. Thanks again for sharing your recipes. Next one is chap chae..wish me luck!

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted February 9th, 2009 at 9:15 pm | # |

    Jenn,
    First spread some sesame oil in dolsot and place some cooked rice evenly over the bottom of the dolsot. Then place all colorful ingredients on top of the rice.
    Cover the dolsot and cook over medium-high heat until you hear rice crackling. Then crack an egg on top just before serving. Thank you!

  6. Jenn
    Posted February 9th, 2009 at 6:42 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Can you tell me how to make the hot version? Dolsot bibimbap? I like the crispiness of the rice in the hot version and would appreciate it if you can just explain the extra couple of steps. Thanks!

  7. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted January 31st, 2009 at 9:01 am | # |

    Ji Hyun,
    Your husband must be cool enough to make you decide to get married him at the age of 40! : )
    I’m so happy to hear that you can use my recipes there.

  8. Ji Hyun
    Posted January 31st, 2009 at 8:13 am | # |

    Hi, I LOVE your website. I recently got married at the age of 40, and am now faced with the daunting task of cooking. Before, I was working and eating out all the time due to my busy schedule. I always found cooking to be difficult, especially Korean food, but you make it so fun and easy. I tried your Tang Su Yuk yesterday and I was just amazed at how good it tasted. My husband also agrees. I’m a Korean living abroad where there are no Korean grocery stores or restaurants so your recipes are just fantastic for me as I crave Korean food on an hourly basis! PS. I love your videos and you’re so sweet the way you explain everything!

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted January 19th, 2009 at 11:16 am | # |

    Cathie,
    Thank you for your interest in my recipes!
    I think we have lots of things to talk about when it comes to Korean food and culture. : )

  10. Cathie
    Posted January 18th, 2009 at 9:44 pm | # |

    I have many excellent memories from Korea and am looking forward to a trip back there possibly next year. I was there in 1983. I have always loved it there. Our daughter is 23 and majored in Korean language in college. She is going to Korea to teach schoolchildren English for a year while she gets some immersion language experience. Anyway, I made the japchae today. It turned out fabulous and my husband loved it! I have made bulgogi and yakimandu for a long time and am so glad to have all of your wonderful teaching at my fingertips. Thanks again.

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted January 18th, 2009 at 7:58 am | # |

    Linda,
    Thank you very much!

    Cathie,
    oh, you must have a lot of good memories about Korea. Nice!

  12. Cathie
    Posted January 17th, 2009 at 9:27 pm | # |

    I was in Tongduchon, South Korean one summer with my husband and had many sweet ajima’s try to teach me how to cook the wonderful things they made. Since my days in South Korea, I have wanted someone to teach me more about Korean cooking. I am so happy to have found your website and am finding myself very successful ! Thank you very much.

  13. Linda
    Posted January 13th, 2009 at 8:56 am | # |

    This looks so good! I first found you on YouTube when I was looking for a recipe for job chae. I love this site. I can’t wait to try some of your recipes. You make them look so easy, but I know you put a lot of work and love into your food. Thank you, Maangchi

  14. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted November 27th, 2008 at 9:56 am | # |

    Umshik
    oh, you are living in Seoul! Jeonju bibimbap is awesome. So many different kinds of vegetables and ingredients are used.

  15. Umshik
    Posted November 27th, 2008 at 5:15 am | # |

    Bibimbob is my FAVOURITE korean dish! And, Maangchi, you would know how happy I was to have visited Jeonju and taste their bibimbob in one of those exquisite hanok houses. I have no problem finding the ingredients :-) Seoul has many!

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